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Legendary Behind-The-Scenes Stories From Sean Connery's Illustrious Career

Updated July 2, 2019 14.2k views12 items

Sean Connery's decades-long career is filled with interesting stories and anecdotes. The actor is arguably the best-known James Bond of all time and one of Scotland's most esteemed citizens. Sean Connery, born Thomas Sean Connery, worked as a factory worker, truck driver, and milkman before becoming a bodybuilder and, finally, an actor.

After hitting it big in the late 1950s, Connery appeared as James Bond in seven films, including classics like Dr. No (1962) and Goldfinger (1964). While still actively appearing in the Bond franchise, Connery appeared in countless other roles and distinguished himself as a top-tier performer.

Just like his most famous role, behind-the-scenes stories of Sean Connery are filled with drink, daring, and intrigue.

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  • He Accepted His Own Baldness, But Bond Was Given A Toupee Anyway

    Connery first appeared as James Bond in 1962's Dr. No. By many accounts, Connery wore a hairpiece in the film, though some sources claim he didn't wear a toupee until Goldfinger (1964).  Despite this wardrobe addition, Connery wasn't shy about his receding hairline.

    Connery realized in his late 20s that he was going to lose his hair, later commenting, "It doesn't worry me... it is inevitable, so what can one do but accept it?" He didn't want to let "18 hairs grow a foot-and-a-half long" and embraced his natural appearance instead.

  • The two male leads in 1995's First Knight - Connery as King Arthur and Richard Gere as Lancelot - presented the long-told story of the competition for Guinevere (Julia Ormond). However, the mere presence of Connery on set intimidated Gere to the point of tears.

    After Gere arrived on set late one day, Connery supposedly chided him, asking, "Where have you been? You want to get a move on."

    Once the scene was completed, Gere went back to his trailer and broke down in tears. Connery was later informed of Gere's emotional reaction, but reportedly said it was "a fuss about nothing. You get this on film sets."

  • He Landed The Bond Role Because He 'Walked Like A Panther'

    In one telling of Connery's casting as James Bond, he auditioned for the part and flopped. However, as he walked to his car afterwards, Ian Fleming reportedly saw him and remarked, "He walks like a panther... bring him back in for another audition."

    Another version claims Dana Broccoli related Connery's panther-like gait to her husband, Cubby, as well as Fleming. This reportedly swayed both men to give Connery another shot at the role.

    A third variation on the story states that producers Broccoli and Harry Saltzman watched Connery display a "panther-like" stride, which prompted them to give him the role on sight.

  • He Writes Poetry At The End Of Each Workday

    According to John Boorman, a director and friend of Connery's, the actor likes to escape through three activities - golf, football (also known as soccer), and writing. Boorman claimed the actor frequently spent his evenings on the set of 1974's Zardoz writing: "He’s never shown this poetry to me or to anyone else as far as I know, but he does write poetry."

    Connery also liked to write while on hiatus. Boorman believed "he withdrew to regroup, to reorganise his thoughts - but there was always a certainty that he would come back before the cameras, because that was the air he breathed."